The Haunted - One Kill Wonder
Earache Records
11 songs (38:11)
Release year: 2003
The Haunted, Earache Records
Reviewed by Jay
Album of the month

The thrash scene has really been undergoing sort of a revival in the last few years. Acts like The Haunted have been releasing acclaimed albums that hearken back to the 80's style thrash, when metal kicked ass. The Haunted's latest offering "One Kill Wonder" takes an interesting spin on this.

The much-anticipated follow-up to 2001's "The Haunted Made Me Do It," "One Kill Wonder" has all you would expect from the Swedish thrashers. Killer riffs, pounding double bass kicks and brutal vocals. It also features the horror movie style chords that resonate a feeling of unsettling oddness for the duration of the album. The main difference between the two albums, which is noticeable from the beginning, is the raw sound of this record. "The Haunted Made Me Do It" was a very polished, slick produced album, full of all the production tricks used in music today. This album has dirtier sounding guitars, more aggressive riffs, louder drumming, and most of all; Marco Aro does not use any vocal effects on this album. The vocals sound more like hardcore and in the vein of Shadows Fall. After a grinding intro, the album kicks off with "Godpuppet," a true thrash song if there ever was one. When the intro started, I could have sworn the riff was lifted from "Evil Has No Boundaries" by Slayer. Marco Aro sounds really pissed off on this track, another trend that continues for the entire album. The high energy pace is held on to for the entire album as well. "D.O.A" starts out with a military march and quickly enters into a pounding aggressive anthem. It is enhanced by garbled EMS radio sound effects over the chorus. Shades of early Slayer and Megadeth can be heard here. The title track is violent and loud. I would not want to be in the center of the moshpit when this one is played live "Everlasting" is another masterpiece and has a killer, killer solo. That brings me to another point. The Haunted always include killer solos at just the right time in the song and the solos are never more elaborate than they have to be. The album also has enough interludes and slower parts to keep you happy.

My main complaint (and it's not a big one) is the length of this album. While it's a good, grinding instrumental, "Demon Eyes" could have been replaced with another song. Since the album is so short, I would much rather have had another song than an instrumental. The previous album was around this length as well. Someone needs to tell The Haunted that CD's can hold 80 minutes of music. We'll just have to wait for the Japanese import with the two bonus tracks. With that said, you do feel like you have listened to an album that can stand alone when you finish it for the first time. Overall, if you like The Haunted, buy this album. You will not be disappointed. If you have never heard them before, you might want to check out "The Haunted Made Me Do It" before listening to this album. I think any thrash fan will like this album. Recently someone remarked to me "Shadows Fall is the next Metallica." If the Metallica torch is being passed to Shadows Fall, the Slayer torch should be passed to The Haunted.

Killing Songs :
Godpuppet, Everlasting, D.O.A., Shadow World
Jay quoted 94 / 100
Other albums by The Haunted that we have reviewed:
The Haunted - Exit Wounds reviewed by Goat and quoted 73 / 100
The Haunted - Unseen reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
The Haunted - Versus reviewed by Goat and quoted 76 / 100
The Haunted - The Dead Eye reviewed by Dylan and quoted 41 / 100
The Haunted - rEVOLVEr reviewed by Jay and quoted 67 / 100
To see all 8 reviews click here
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